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New home for Irish and Local Studies Library as it will move from Abbey Street to Newry Road

The original plan to split the collection across three locations has been changed and will see it remain in Armagh - but not at Abbey Street

The Irish and Local Studies Library in Armagh is to be relocated to the Newry Road.

The move has been confirmed following a meeting of the Libraries NI on Thursday.

It will see the relocation away from the current premises at Abbey Street.

The Libraries NI Board said it “responded positively to the public consultation” by agreeing revised proposals for Cultural Heritage Services in Co Armagh.

Libraries NI consulted on a proposal to relocate the service provided at the Irish and Local Studies Library (ILS) in Abbey Street, Armagh with “a view to improving access to heritage services, and increasing use whilst ensuring the service is financially sustainable”.

The proposal was for a blended approach including offering access to cultural heritage materials at the Armagh Regional Administration Centre, Armagh City Library and Lurgan Library.

Board members say they were encouraged by the feedback received during this process and the level of support shown by stakeholder groups and local service users.

A spokesperson said: “The key message arising from the process was to keep the service in Armagh City and the Board therefore agreed at its meeting  to relocate the service from the rented premises in Abbey Street to Libraries NI’s Regional Administration Centre on the Markethill Road, Armagh.

“This approach will keep the service in Armagh whilst still providing longer term financial savings.”

Announcing the Board’s decision, Professor Bernard Cullen, Chairperson of Libraries NI, said: “The level of feedback received through the public consultation process was significant and the Board has listened and responded by agreeing proposals to keep the service in Armagh City.

“It is important that this opportunity is embraced and customers continue to work with Libraries NI to continue to promote and improve the use of this service.”

Jim O’Hagan, Chief Executive of Libraries NI, said: “Now that the Board has agreed to keep the service located in Armagh City, I know that staff will work with service users, local history groups and other organisations to recommence providing a service at the new location, once the pandemic allows.

“Libraries NI will also continue to work with stakeholders to progress our long term vision of delivering all local library services from one site in Armagh City.”

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